Gifts Today magazine

Martin M. Pegler retires

Martin M. Pegler retires as a full-time gia Expert Juror - Anne Kong to replace him

After 16 years as a gia Expert Juror, Martin M. Pegler is retiring from full-time involvement in the IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) but will not leave the programme entirely, the International Housewares Association (IHA) and the International Home + Housewares Show, the global sponsors and organisers of the gia program, announced today.

Martin, who has been part of the gia programme since its inception in 2000, will continue as an honorary member of the gia Expert Jury, selecting the winner of the “Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising,” the special gia award bestowed on the retailer with the best visual merchandising, displays and window displays.

“The IHA would like to wholeheartedly thank Martin for his leadership role and support to the gia programme over all these years,” says Derek Miller, IHA VP, global marketing.

“Martin helped us develop gia into the leading global home and housewares awards programme it is now, and his inspiring speeches and presentations have been a highlight to retailers visiting the International Home + Housewares Show.”

In 2008, recognising Martin’s achievements and leading role in gia, IHA renamed the gia Top Window Award the “Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising.” In addition, he was presented with an honorary gia Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Replacing Pegler on the gia Expert Jury will be Anne Kong, associate professor and former chairperson of the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). A renowned educator and designer, Kong has more than 20 years of experience in her field and designs solutions for retail, brands and promotional events. She has worked alongside Pegler for many years and is co-authoring the 7th edition of his textbook, Visual Merchandising and Display.

“Through her work with Martin, Anne is already very familiar with gia, and we are very happy she has accepted our invitation to join the gia Expert Jury,” Miller said. “The insights that Anne’s experience, courses and her work generates will provide invaluable inspiration for future gia winners, and she’ll bring a new skillset and outlook to the expert jury. We warmly welcome Anne to the gia family!”

For more information about the IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) programme, the expert jurors and national co-sponsors, or participating in gia, contact Piritta Törrö at Additional information on the gia program is also available online at

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